New Delhi: Actor Akshay Kumar’s commitment to martial arts and fitness is well known. The ‘OMG2’ star organised the 15th Akshay Kumar International Kudo Tournament in Surat (Gujarat) recently, bringing the Japanese martial arts discipline to the centrestage.
Disha Patani, a martial art enthusiast herself, was a special guest at the event. Kumar has been organising the tournamnet for over a decade now.
“I trained for Kudo during Rowdy Rathore (2012), and before that I was training in Muay Thai and Gojukai Karate for many years. It was only after realising the effectiveness of Kudo in self defence situations that I decided to introduce it in India,” Kumar told Hindustan Times.
The 56-year-old star said he wanted to provide an international platform to the children from every town and village where everyone can participate without worrying about money or costs. The tournament has been free of cost for the last 15 years. Even during the lockdown, the tournament was kept going online.
Kudo is a Japanese martial arts form in the same category as Judo, Aikido and Kendo.
On how the tournament can contribute to the growth of Kudo in India, the actor told HT, “The tournament has become a stage to scout for talent as athletes from all the states of India. They come here, compete here, and from here they go on to represent India at global stages such as South Asian Cup, Asian Cup, and World Cup. You will be happy to know two consistent winners selected from the Akshay Kumar Tournament are currently under 19 world champions 2023”.
The actor feels it is important for youth icons to use their star power in mobilising people towards finding the right way to be fit. “Icons can motivate and help the youth channelise their intrinsic energies in the right direction, hence a martial artist or a fitness icon would definitely help youth find their groove in the world of fitness and martial arts,” he told the publication.
Kumar is trained in Karate, Taekwondo and Muay Thai. “I always say that martial arts is not just about kicking, punching and fighting. If you take all the three away from martial arts, there are virtues such as discipline, determination, will power, punctuality and so many more will remain (with you). And this alone has been the cornerstone which has shaped my personal and professional life,” he said.